• Need for an Upgrade in the White House Staff

    Need for an Upgrade in the White House Staff

    President Trump has received well-deserved praise for outstanding cabinet appointments, after installing well-qualified figures at major federal departments. His White House staff selections, however, have been far less appropriate, contributing to a lack of focus in the administration's early days. Thirty years ago, my comprehensive history of key presidential aides,…

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  • The Oscars: The Activism They Left on the Cutting Room Floor

    Imagine the result, with hundreds of millions of people watching worldwide, if Hollywood turned its creative firepower on real problems. Instead, viewers watched wall-to-wall Trump-bashing. They should have spent less time bashing Trump and more time making the sure presenters got the correct envelopes. If so, the Oscar gaffe of…

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  • Conspiracy Theories Can’t Account for Anti-Semitic Surge

    Conspiracy Theories Can’t Account for Anti-Semitic Surge

    Vandalism against Jewish cemeteries and a hundred bomb threats against Jewish community centers look so puzzling that some observers spin conspiracy theories. This logic argues that cunning activists staged the attacks to smear the president. After all, a church burning during the campaign was initially blamed on Trump backers, but…

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  • A Nation of Immigrants — Only If They Assimilate

    A Nation of Immigrants — Only If They Assimilate

    I am writing this column in Japan, a country whose crime rate is the lowest among countries with large populations. I asked my Japanese translator, a middle-aged woman, what she thought. “Why is there is so little crime in Japan?” I asked. Without taking a moment to reflect, she responded,…

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  • Trump Eviscerates the Liberal Media – What Took So Long?

    It was riveting. In his first solo press conference, President Donald Trump spent much of the hour berating the media for what Trump called anti-Republican bias and its relentlessly negative “tone.” It's about time. The liberal media has long been sticking it to Republicans. In October 1992, during the presidential…

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  • Yearning for Quiet Competence?

    Yearning for Quiet Competence?

    On President's Day, C-SPAN released a new poll of leading historians ranking America's chief executives, from the greatest, to the greatest disappointments. The top four on the list should come as no surprise—Lincoln, Washington, FDR and Theodore Roosevelt have been classified among the greats ever since such polls began in…

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  • False Charges of Anti-Semitism

    False Charges of Anti-Semitism

    The bitter divisions in American life currently stem from politics as much as from differences in race, religion or economic status. Even tightly connected subgroups endure internal conflicts over President Trump and his policies. Jewish Americans, for instance, represent less than 2 percent of the national population but that community…

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  • Why Professors Object to Being Recorded

    Why Professors Object to Being Recorded

    After the election of Donald Trump as president, a professor at Orange Coast College in California, Olga Perez Stable Cox, went into an extended hate-rant against the president-elect. Among other things, she described the Trump election as an “act of terrorism,” labelled him a “white supremacist” and called Vice-President-Elect Mike…

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  • American Miracles and President’s Day

    American Miracles and President’s Day

    On the eve of Civil War, Abraham Lincoln concluded his First Inaugural Address with two sentences of incandescent eloquence: “Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone…

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